Sorry, Cherelle, “pissed and angry” won’t cut it.
Democratic mayoral candidate Cherelle Parker has a mess. (Photo: The Daily Pennsylvanian)
That was what Democratic mayoral candidate Cherelle Parker said when the Inquirer revealed emails from her campaign staffers that belittled and were dismissive of reporters.
Her staffers made an amateur mistake of accidentally sending internal campaign communications to Lawrence McGlynn with the Philadelphia Hall Monitor, a nonprofit news organization, in response to an interview request.
“John Dolan, the deputy campaign manager, discusses with Aren Platt, a senior adviser to Parker, how to handle requests from McGlynn and Denise Clay-Murray, a freelance journalist who writes for the Hall Monitor, the Philadelphia Sunday Sun, and other publications,” the Inquirer reported.
Dolan wrote, “I would suggest pushing off Lawrence and moving forward with Denise. I can slow roll him for a few weeks.”
Platt responded, “Let’s push her off without letting her know … Just be careful because she has already said that we are ignoring Black women journalists and truly independent media — irrespective of other circumstances. But we don’t want this to be too much of a narrative.”
It’s too late. It’s out there.
“But the exchange shed light on how the campaign manages Parker’s public image and led to accusations that it favors larger media outlets over smaller publications and diverse journalists,” the Inquirer reported.
That candidates favor some media sources over others is no surprise, nor is it unusual to favor larger outlets over smaller ones.
What is a little unusual is Parker’s feigned outrage.
I can testify to this myself.
During the primary campaign, I reached out to interview the leading candidates. I called each of them personally, using their cell phone numbers. Agreeing to be interviewed were Allan Domb, Jeff Brown, Derek Green, David Oh, and Rebecca Rhynhart. All were interviewed for my blog, Stubykofsky.com except for Rhynhart, whose incompetent staff kept changing the date for the agreed interview.
I did not attempt to interview the contentious Helen Gym as she never has responded to any request I have made in the past. Perhaps she might have been embarrassed for praising former Inquirer writer Inga Saffron as a “goddess of journalism” for comments about me that a jury found to be false and defamatory. Saffron was guilty of lying, Gym was guilty of endorsing a lie. Quite a duo.
I called Parker twice and invited her to be interviewed. The polite requests were left on her personal voicemail. She didn’t have the courtesy to decline, she simply never responded. Not to brag, but I’ve been a Philadelphia journalist for almost as long as she’s been alive.
And she has every right to be dismissive, even rude, even though she was in the midst of a tight race. Hell, I even endorsed in the primary. This is not “personal.”
But when she says the comments were “not consistent with who I am or what I expect from my team,” that is a lie. It is consistent with her past behavior, and she is ducking Inquirer interview requests right now, according to the Inquirer. She’s also ducking debates with David Oh, but that’s a subject for another column.
Who does she think she is, failed Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot who once astonishingly announced she would not take questions from white reporters?
“I have made it clear that this is entirely unacceptable,” Parker posted on X.
No, Cherelle, it is very acceptable to you, except that you got caught.
And no, I didn’t try to contact you for comment for this piece as you have made it plain I’d be wasting my time.
Most politicians wait until they are elected before they start acting like a monarch. Looks like you have put on the royal robes already.